Monday, July 13, 2015

Day Two

Day Two Was Amazing!

Let me start by saying that none of the photos of the mountains can hold a candle to seeing it them in person. Everything is so much larger in real life than it seems in a photograph. We were literally surrounded by beauty the entire time in Colorado. 
Saturday was day number two or our trip. We were up and on our way early in the morning. A lot to see again. First on the list was a visit to the Garden of the Gods. This park is in Colorado Springs, Colorado. There is a very nice visitors center with a great viewing area. There, we were able to get a great view of the Garden of the Gods from a distance. Then we drove through the park. So pretty. I would recommend this stop for sure.
Garden of the Gods from a distance.
Here we are on the balcony of the visitors center, with the Garden of the Gods in the background.
This was taken inside the park.

Our next stop should have been the top of Pikes Peak. Unfortunately, after receiving some expert advice from G's step mom, who is a respiratory therapist, we decided it was just too risky for G to make the trip. Because of his heart condition and the fact that one lung is partially collapsed, high altitudes can be dangerous for him. His oxygen level is already not quite as good as a normal, healthy person, and the high altitudes make it more difficult for him to breathe. This was extremely disappointing for him. It was a big thing on his list for the trip. I hate that he didn't get to do it.  
After some discussion, we decided to start making our way to our next hotel in Towaoc, Colorado. Along the way, we discovered the Manitou Cliff Dwelling Museum. This is a little place where you can explore a recreation of ancient cave dwellings. It was neat, but a tourist trap for sure.

These were all taken at the cave dwellings.


 After moving on, we headed into the mountains to take a more scenic rout that my brother, Adam suggested to us. At Wilkerson Pass we stopped for this amazing view. 
 Noah said this was the most beautiful thing he had seen in his entire life. Again, photos don't do any of it justice. If you look closely, you will see the houses and how tiny they are. We stop along the road as much as we can to check out the scenic views. Many of them are breathtaking in the mountains. 

 It was chilly here, so we had to put our hoodies on.

 Mountains as far as the eye can see.

 There was much time spent in the car! Occasionally we get cranky......

We headed up into the mountains and passed through Ouray, Colorado. A great little town snuggled in the mountainside. Wish we had been able to spend some time there and that I had taken some photos. Just after leaving town, we found a stop called Bear Falls. Oh my goodness! We were in awe at the amazing view. 

 Mountain after mountain everywhere you look.

The waterfall at Bear Falls. Don't be fooled, it is huge!

 The whole clan at Bear Falls.

Just G and me.

So pretty. After this, we went further and further into the mountains. I think our highest elevation was around 11,000 feet. Much higher than we had anticipated. When we checked, every one's oxygen was a bit lower than normal. The drive through the mountain was thrilling and terrifying at the same time. So many places where there is no guard rail and you have to drive perilously close to the edge. So far, to me, this was the best part of the trip. Just driving through the mountains. We saw so many deer, it was crazy. 

A view from the road near Buena Vista, Colorado. We stopped and ate lunch at a little hole in the wall place called Jan's Restaurant. Very good food! This is a tiny town that thrives on tourism. You can raft the river here. Looks so fun. 

This one was taken near Colorado Springs, Colorado.

We spent the night at the Ute Mountain Casino and Hotel in Tawaoc.  A decent little place. After arriving, the kids went swimming at the indoor pool. 

A view of the hotel sign the next morning just before heading out.

We had a super late night last night that I will tell you all about later. Day thee was just as packed! This morning, AKA, day four, we are letting the kids sleep in. We ran them ragged yesterday!

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